French retain the lead

After another breezy day at the Dart 18 Worlds and Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta

Tuesday November 24th 2009, Author: Diana Bogaards, Location: United Kingdom
French sailors dominated the third day of the Dart 18 Worlds 2009 in Aruba. Defenders Emmanuel Dodé and Fred Moreau scored bullets in both races and are now leading by five points.

Former World Champions Thierry and Christine Wibaux climbed to the third position overall, while David Lloyd and Joanna Jones-Pierce (GBR) hang on to their second place. However, the difference between the numbers two till four is only one point.

The Pols brothers had a bit more competition in the Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta, but won still both races. Today's offshore breeze was more gentle with about 20-25 knots.

The leading Dart 18 Frenchmen did not have a good start in the first race this morning. "We had too much speed and had to bear away before the gun", explained Dodé. Their German, Dutch and British competitors crossed the line at the committee boat and took an early lead. Dodé: "I think we were 15th after 200m, but our strategy worked out well. We went to the right as soon as possible, but not all the way to the lay-line. We under-tacked it, because we preferred to play the many shifts -mainly to the left- at the top mark close to the shore."

Brits Lloyd/Jones-Pierce led at the weather mark. Lloyd: "Emmanuel got us on the second beat. He seemed to have more wind round the mark and he was gone." Dodé commented: "We often made a gibe-set, because there is less breeze at the right side of the downwind course with all the hotels along the beach." The British couple finished second, followed by Thierry and Christine Wibaux.

Second Race - French party

Although Dodé/Moreau had a better second start, they did not win the first beat. Moreau: "We were covered by Thierry, who was pointing less high, so we decided to dip and pass him in leeward." Meanwhile Dutchmen Ruud Goudriaan and Bart Damen were smoking. They won the tacking battle close to the top mark and were first round. Damen with a smile: "That was our goal, so that felt great. Unfortunately, we are slow downwind. The more experienced teams do a much better job." Especially Thierry and Christine Wibaux - the 2004 Dart 18 World Champions - were on fire downwind. Thierry Wibaux: "We were indeed very fast, but it also paid to go far to the right on the beat. We were a way out of the lay-line, which took us straight to the mark."

Dodé/Moreau led into the gate, followed by the Wibauxs and neither French team gave up their positions. The Germans Matthias Huber and Dominik Volke were third over the line.

Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta

Today's racing at the Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta was more competitive. The action was full on with some dramatic capsizes. Ten of the 15 teams managed to handle the tough conditions. Xander and Marc Pols claimed both races, but they had to fight for it. Especially in the first race, they felt the pressure of John Moret and Paul Smissaert. But the unfortunate Dutch sailors went upside down again, which allowed the Tornado duo Leo Ambtman and Maarten Kroon to pass them. Moret with a bruised hand: "We are the capsize kings of the week, but we are done with that now. Tomorrow, we will get Xander."

Dart 18 Worlds 2009 - Top five after three races
1. FRA - Emmanuel Dodé & Fred Moreau, 3 points
2. GBR - David Lloyd & Joanna Jones-Pierce, 9 points
3. FRA - Thierry & Christine Wibaux, 10 points
4. GER - Matthias Huber & Dominik Volke, 10 points
5. NED - Ruud Goudriaan & Bart Damen, 14 points

Top three Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta after three races:
1. NED - F18 - Xander & Mark Pols, 3 points
2. NED - F18 - John Moret & Paul Smissaert, 6 points
3. NED - Tornado - Leo Ambtman & Maarten Kroon, 22 points

For Wednesday, there are three races scheduled for both fleets.

In addition to the title sponsors Aruba Tourism Authority and Heineken Aruba NV, this year's Aruba Heineken Catamaran Regatta and Dart18 World Championships are also supported by Martinair, GILS Worldwide, Setar, Holiday Inn, Does & Cadushi, Tropical Bottling Company, Coca Cola, AWA, Aruba Aloë, VR Shipping, Aruba Watersports Center, Palm Tours, Pelican Watersports, Seaworld Explorer, Moomba, Zwitserleven, TNG, Patria and AMI Kappers.

More photos on the following pages....

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